In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom…
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Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living

In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index's invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:

 …[more]

May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

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New ObamaCare Fissures Emerge, as Stunned Labor Unions Chafe at Higher Costs Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, May 29 2014
With increasing frequency, unions negotiating new contracts across the country are suddenly bristling at the prospect of healthcare costs rising between 5% and 12.5% due to ObamaCare-related mandates...

Pop some popcorn, grab a cold one, sit back and enjoy this emerging spectacle. 

Labor unions were among the strongest and earliest supporters of ObamaCare, and foolishly accepted Nancy Pelosi’s admonition to embrace the law before finding out what was in it.  Now they’re beginning to pay the price. 

With increasing frequency, unions negotiating new contracts across the country are suddenly bristling at the prospect of healthcare costs rising between 5% and 12.5% due to ObamaCare-related mandates such as “Cadillac taxes” levied on generous union healthcare plans, mandatory coverage for “children” up to age 26 and price controls.  Consequently, the question of who will pay those new costs is creating alarm and even more tension in labor/management negotiations.  In Las Vegas alone, the union representing service workers at 90% of the city’s casinos plans to strike on June 1 if outstanding disagreements remain unresolved, with union leaders identifying ObamaCare cost increases as the most prominent among them. 

“It’s been a challenge for even some of the stronger unions to maintain the quality health plans that they have offered over the years,” labor attorney Daniel Murphy told The Wall Street Journal.  “When we first supported the calls for healthcare reform, we thought it was going to bring costs down,” said union attorney Jim Ray.  And United Commercial Food Workers spokeswoman Jill Cashen added, “On a broad level, the biggest challenge facing all our negotiations is certain provisions the Affordable Care Act is demanding on plans.” 

Speaking of schadenfreude as it relates to government-run healthcare, liberals’ favorite New York Times columnist Paul Krugman – or, as columnist James Taranto likes to call him, Former Enron Advisor Paul Krugman – maintains his .000 batting average on contemporary policy debates. 

On several occasions over the years, Krugman has offered the Veterans Administration hospital system as an exemplar of the glorious promise of government-run healthcare.  “Farsighted thinkers,” Krugman proclaimed, “are already suggesting that the Veterans Health Administration … represents the true future of American health care.”  He added: 

“I know about a health care system that has been highly successful in containing costs, yet provides excellent care.  And the story of this system’s success provides a helpful corrective to anti-government ideology.  For the government doesn’t just pay the bills in this system – it runs the hospitals and clinics. 

"No, I’m not talking about some faraway country.  The system in question is our very own Veterans Health Administration, whose success story is one of the best-kept secrets in the American policy debate.” 

Well, there were certainly some well-kept secrets in the VA system.  But as usual, Paul Krugman whiffed with his usual unseemly flourish. 

Meanwhile, other new ObamaCare failures continue to accumulate. 

One of ObamaCare proponents’ most frequent predictions was that the law would cut healthcare costs by reducing hospital emergency room visits by the uninsured.  According to their logic, patients with routine or chronic ailments would instead visit primary care physicians and engage in preventive care. 

But like so many other aspects of ObamaCare, reality is already deviating from their expectations.  A new study from the American College of Emergency Physicians reveals that nearly half of emergency room doctors have faced an increased patient load since ObamaCare provisions became effective on January 1 of this year, with another quarter of doctors reporting that their volume has remained the same.  That compares with just 23% who said that their patient volume has decreased.  Moreover, fully 86% of emergency room physicians said they expect patient burdens to increase over the upcoming three years, not decrease. 

That new study confirms previous studies conducted in Oregon and Massachusetts, where emergency room visits increased up to 40% after coverage was expanded. 

And in other bad news for ObamaCare this week, USA Today is reporting that fully 59% of employers intend to hit employees with higher health insurance premiums and co-payments this year.  Elsewhere, large insurers have begun announcing that despite the current era of genetic discovery and increasingly individualized treatments, oncologists will be pushed to follow strict standardized treatment guidelines. 

Welcome to the brave new world of ObamaCare. 

Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
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Notable Quote   
 
"The trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann crossed a critical threshold Friday when a key witness uttered the name 'Hillary Clinton' in conjunction with a plan to spread the false Alfa Bank Russian collusion claim before the 2016 presidential election.For Democrats and many in the media, Hillary Clinton has long held a Voldemort-like status as 'She who must not be named' in scandals…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
— Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
 
Liberty Poll   

Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?